Democrats Finally Got Their 60 Votes for Health Care Bill
The Democrats finally have the 60 votes they need to move forward with the health care bill. Senator Ben Nelson, who have thus far been holding out until he is satisfied with the language used in the bill to ensure that federal funding is not used for abortion, has finally agreed to a compromise.
The deal, though, did not sit well with both sides of the abortion rights issue. The deal was sealed Friday night, and by Saturday morning there were reactions – both of them disapproving – issued from the abortion rights activists and the anti-abortion advocates. The National Organization of Women reportedly called the result of the deal “cruelly over-compromised legislation” while the Family Research Council called the deal a “phony compromise”.
At any rate, it was a critical vote that proved to be hard-won. In stark contrast to an irrevocable unified Republican stand, the Democrats reportedly did not even talk it out in the same room. On the one side was Senator Nelson, who was holding fort in the conference room of the Office of the Majority Leader, accompanied by White House staff. The Senate’s advocates of abortion rights — Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Patty Murray of Washington — were in the Office of the Chief of Staff of Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Meanwhile, Senator Reed and Senator Charles Schumer were playing pass the message, going back and forth between the two parties in an effort to arrive at a compromise.
The legislation now includes the option for states to disallow coverage for abortion in the insurance exchanges set up by the bill. The “exchanges” will be for the benefit of those who do not have sufficient health care coverage through their jobs; they will be receiving federal subsidies to pay for insurance. Those who enroll in plans that include coverage for abortion will have to pay with separate checks for abortion and basic health care.Tags: abortion bill, abortion health care, abortion insurance, health care amendment, health care bill, health care changes